Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Holi = Hold the White Girl Hostage for 2 Days...

So I wasn't literally hostage but somehow the prospect of not going out made me feel like it. Of course, I weaseled my way into being taken out for dinner....let me explain.

Hubby took Saturday off in anticipation of the holiday. We stayed up late on Friday night and slept in really late on Saturday morning. When we woke up there were neighbors in the street playing Holi. Colors were scattered everywhere. The little boy across the road was on his roof with impossibly big bags of color, as well as the boy two houses down. Men were on almost every roof ready to fire away.

Women were walking the street to the store, to the seamstress. It seemed business as usual for them. None of them looked like they had been bothered by the event at all. They were all clean. Men on the other hand were driving and walking in the street with broken eggs in their hair and all the colors of the rainbow on their clothes and everything they were touching. The eggs were a gross site.

And there the kids stood with water balloons in their hands on the edge of our terrace waiting for a victim. Occasionally they threw the balloons at groups of people fighting with Holi colors on the corner and in the road. Occasionally they were throwing them at each other. One of them threw a balloon at hubby and it didn't burst but instead bounced off of him and nailed my feet. They were having too much fun.

As the day went on I discovered that the women in this family don't leave the house or stand near the windows and doors because the men would have a fit if someone threw a Holi bag at them. Hubby was no different lol. I got a few minutes at the edge of the terrace when no one was looking but that was it. He didn't ask me not to but I found the whole thing quite boring.

The kids gave me a water balloon and wanted me to throw it at hubby but I just wasn't in the mood. I've never really been into games like this and I didn't want one thrown back at me lol. I can dish it, but not take it! I was a little surprise though that there wasn't more Holi bombing going on outside. It all seemed a little boring to me.

That's why I decided to tempt fate and play cutesy girl games to try and get hubby to take me out. It didn't happen, but of course he didn't want to go out either. He didn't even want to go to the store 3 houses away. Of course, when he did go they weren't open. None of the stores in our bazaar were open after lunch. They all closed because of Holi. I guess this family isn't the only ones who find the game not so interesting.

We ended Saturday with another movie night, up late and sleeping in on Sunday morning. When we woke up it was to the sound of music and fighting in the street. So we went to see what was going on and guess what!? Sunday was actually Holi and not Saturday! Now things had gotten a little more interesting.

There were about 10 men on motorcycles on the corner by the house. Some of them were holding onto another guy and pouring bottles of Holi colors on him. One man trying to pass on a scooter had gotten hit and was not playing and got pissed. His dad came to his aid. I'm not sure why but I'm sure the way I've heard things work here they were going to start a war with the villains.

There were more eggheads today and it was just as gross as ever. Can you imagine? Hot weather (it's been in the 90's F) and raw eggs. Hubby informed that in some parts of the city some nasty individuals and unattended kids actually throw bags of potty. Now that is just repulsive. What the hell is wrong with these people?!? Police were everywhere. I just find it sad that people can't enjoy festivities without doing something completely stupid. Of course, it happens in every country. Some under-educated moron has to ruin things for everyone.

I won't get on that rant for now. It actually turned out to be a good day in the end. My girly charms finally paid off and late in the evening hubby took me out to dinner at a nice restaurant. Now here comes the funny part. We have been to the restaurant (Crystal) many times. Usually I'm the only white girl in the place and the waiters stare and seat us right up front. This time there were a trio of white people in the back corner.

The waiter seated us near the other white people in the back corner. Then another white couple came in and he seated them in the back corner with the rest of us. The front of the restaurant was full of Indians. Now normally I don't notice things like this but having grown up next to an extremely racist town I couldn't help but be reminded of a restaurant I know of that still seats all the black people in the back just like this. (Mini-tangent time!) Now that I know what that's like, I just want the racist idiots in this world to know.....You're stupid! A group of people all the same color seated together draws more attention and is more noticeable than randomly scattered minorities! (end rant...ty)

The restaurant has mirrors everywhere at table level. So wherever you sit you can see most of the restaurant without even trying. That means if someone is staring at you, you have no idea. The way the mirrors are placed you see multiples of people and you have no idea which way they are actually looking and it looks like everyone is staring at you. I think that helped hubby relax because he could stare at people unnoticed. We had the best dinner. We laughed and cut up like high school kids. I loved every minute of it.

As we were finishing up the trio of white people asked for their bill. They asked the waiter to bill them each separately. Now, that never happens in India so he didn't understand what they wanted and they tried to explain but gave up. The bill came and they started dividing it up and all got their wallets out to pay their share and the waiter had this look on his face like he had no idea what in the world these fools were doing. It was funny. Hubby was amazed. I had always told him Americans do this but he didn't quite grasp that concept until he saw this. He didn't know what to think either. Whenever he goes out one person pays for everything. People don't go dutch, they sort of just take turns.

So he and I both got a little cultural experience for Holi. All in all I think it was a great day. I didn't get hit once and I'm happy to report I stayed white and clean the whole 2 days lol.

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